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What’s Wrong With The Capitals

Pierre LeBrun of ESPN answers some email rants…

Please tell me what is wrong with the Washington Capitals, I just do not understand. They have such talented individuals in Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, and Green (when healthy), to name a few home-grown stars. While the usual production of these players is below par, save Backstrom, that cannot solely explain why the team is doing so poorly….

LeBrun:  To me they just rarely look like a “team.” The elite clubs in this league—think Detroit over the past 20-odd years—play as five-man units up and down the ice. They limit gaps for opposing teams to exploit. They control/manage the puck smartly as units. They avoid taking lazy/selfish penalties. That’s what the elite teams in this league do. The Caps have not been that team this year. Alex Ovechkin has but 12 goals. He’s not the same dominant force. The goaltending has been inconsistent. And the Caps are 20th out of 30 teams in five-on-five goals for/against ratio—that’s an important statistic in my mind in rating elite teams. Right now Boston is tops in that statistic, followed by Detroit, San Jose, St. Louis, N.Y. Rangers, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Chicago. I think you see the picture that paints.

more rants...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink


SYF's avatar

Too many individuals.  Period.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 12/27/11 at 05:47 PM ET


They don’t have enough (any?) consistently competent two-way players-which proves my long held contention that the Caps have had TWO problems for the past season and a half: an incompetent coach and dumb players. Bruce Boudreau was never able to get to his players to take correct angles to the opposing puck carrier on defense or, in general, get them to play effectively as one unit on defense. Add to that the fact that these guys don’t score when they play well on defense or don’t defend well when they play effectively on offense—at least when they play elite opposition. Then there’s the part about BOTH goalies giving up soft goals every game they start, thereby demoralizing the team and making it less likely they’ll make the playoffs , much less win the Stanley Cup his season. Dale Hunter is going to be George McPhee’s next pink slip victim…

Santa Monica

Posted by Clifford on 12/28/11 at 04:20 AM ET


The Capitals inability to maintain consistent lines creates a myriad of issues including turnovers in their own zone, players unfamiliar with passing schemes, and players out of position. If there is a stat for “dirty goals” you may find the Capitals at the bottom of that list. What happenned to the days of Knuble, Hendricks, or Ovechkin looking for loose rebounds for an easy tap in? Lastly, move Ovechkin to the right wing, his patent move skating down the ice from left wing to center couldn’t fool my eight year old grandson. Now, LET’S GO CAPS!!

Posted by Lenne from Delaware on 12/28/11 at 11:41 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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